Week 4 Checkpoint
State prisons are primarily operated by state governments. Overcrowding is a persistent problem in most state and federal prisons. By the end of 2001, state prisons were operating between 1 and 16 percent over capacity. This makes the prisons more difficult to operate, and puts the health and safety of inmates and staff at risk. The prison systems known today are based on eighteenth century Age of Enlightenment. The Walnut Street Jail was the first “so-called” penitentiary opened in the United States. The most common name for this system of prisons today is the “Department of Corrections.” There are merely more than 1 million men and women housed in the confinements operated by the states. Most of the states started with only one state prison, and now they have grown to as many as 100 in the state of Texas. The type of institution that the states used to start their initial prison on was based off of the Auburn model, and was expanded from their based on the special needs (women and younger offenders) was accepted. May 14, 1930 marked the birth of the Federal Bureau of Prisons which was created by an act of Congress by President Herbert Hoover. The first U.S. Penitentiary was an old military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; this penitentiary began to house prisoners in 1895. The now famous federal prison Alcatraz was opened in 1934. Since opening in 1930, the BOP has only had seven directors, Sanford Bates (1930-1937) James Bennett (1937-1964) Myrl Alexander (1964-1970) Norman Carlson (1970-1987) J. Michael Quinlan (1987-1993) Kathleen Hawk Sawyer (1993-2003) and Harley Lappin (2003-present).
Foster, B. (2006). Corrections: The fundamentals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall
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